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Wednesday, 29 March 2023
Turkey threatens to block Finland and Sweden from joining NATO
German soldiers stand guard at German NATO base Camp Marmal in Afghanistan. (File photo: AP)

Turkey's president has restated his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining Nato - just hours after they said they would seek membership, the BBC reported,.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the two Nordic nations should not bother sending delegations to convince Turkey, a key Nato member, of their bids.

His government has also pledged to block applications from countries that have imposed sanctions on it.

In 2019, both Nordic nations slapped an arms embargo on Ankara after its incursion into Syria.

Turkey accuses the two Nordic nations of harbouring members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group it views as a terrorist organisation, and followers of Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting in Ankara on Feb. 10, 2020. (AP)

At a news conference on Monday, Mr Erdogan said Turkey opposed the Finnish and the Swedish bids to join Nato, describing Sweden as a "hatchery" for terrorist organisations.

The Turkish president said: "Neither of these countries have a clear, open attitude towards terrorist organisation. How can we trust them?"

Turkey opposes NATO membership for Finland and Sweden

Without the support of all Nato members, Sweden and Finland cannot join the military alliance.

All member states must agree that a new country can join Nato, therefore Sweden and Finland require Turkey's support in their bid to join the military alliance.

Source: BBC